The Role of Relationships and Social Connections on Men’s Wellness
As we hit mid-November, we continue to share our insight on men’s mental health this month. If you have not already checked us out, our social media pages provide some men’s coping strategies and indicate the importance of social connections.
Social connections, romantic relationships, and platonic relationships are all important to support you when you are feeling vulnerable. Did you know that “among men who reported always or often having someone to count on, more than half (55%) rated their mental health as excellent or very good” (Statistics Canada, 2023)? Do you feel like you always have people to count on?
Given the significant impact of relationships, we can only imagine the importance that relationships hold on men's health. These relationships can provide a support system that can forge healthy and open conversations. In turn, this can aid in normalizing vulnerability, which could contribute positively to men’s emotional wellness, which is sometimes stigmatized in society.
Researchers explain that there are “complexities in social isolation wherein men can seem connected to others, but be profoundly disconnected by an array of circumstances, including relationship breakdown...” (Oliffe et al., 2019). Does this resonate with you? If it does, we are here to encourage you to reach out! We would be happy to help you create positive changes and provide you with a safe space to express yourself. Booking your first appointment will help to eliminate the nagging question deep inside of “what if I had reached out?”
When we can freely express our feelings and thoughts without judgment, it can reduce feelings of isolation. Men can sometimes redirect their vulnerability in other ways as a result of not feeling like they can open up to anyone. It is possible that men might fear judgement when attempting to talk to a friend or family member.
One of Relationship Matters’ very own, Sarah Potvin, MA, RP noted that “social constructs and the people we surround ourselves with (including friends, family, and co-workers) both impact our feelings of worthiness and ability to open up.”
We encourage men to continue to have conversations about topics like hardship, vulnerability, and adversity to help reduce stigma. If you take opportunities to share your feelings, it may in turn encourage others to mirror your positive behaviour.
Positive relationships can elicit positive communication, and both factors can raise confidence and help us share our vulnerable moments with our connections.